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Columbia University speaker series

a cut above

HOW DO YOU MAKE a speaker's name and date stand out on a poster for a semester-long speakers series—twice? First, you make one large 15" x 22" photopolymer plate. Then you cut it up. Specifically, you cut every speaker's name out of it and set them aside.

  • Start by placing a proof print on a light table so you can see the placement of the dates.
  • Using a small brayer, hand roll a little caramel cloud over each date.
  • For the first run, feed the hand-rolled sheet into the press that is loaded with chocolate brown ink and print everything (except the speakers' names).
  • Bonus : Before you peel up the large plate, position all the speakers' names back into their respective holes for instant alignment. Now you can peel up the large plate, which you've already printed in chocolate brown.
  • Now let's hand roll the speakers' names in a bright red-orange, a charcoal, and a touch of metallic silver for a little sparkle. Feed each sheet back into the press for the second run. Ta da! Each poster becomes a one-of-a-kind.
  • Repeat these steps for a different set of colors for the next semester's speakers series.

One more thing

WANT TO SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION to each speaker, give them a pat on the back, and earn some brownie points? With the hand rolling it is easy to create differences via letterpress.

  • Set 5 posters aside. Hand roll one poster with each name quite a bit darker than the other 4 names.
  • Place this broadside in the display case at the entrance to the library (where the talks are held) to highlight the next speaker in the series.
  • The day of the talk, pull that poster out of the display case and present it to that day's speaker as a keepsake for their efforts and a reminder of the occasion.
  • Insert the poster highlighting the next speaker and collect your brownie points.

Print specs

LETTERPRESS BROADSIDE: Columbia University speaker series

Sorry—this limited edition print is not for sale.

  • Digitally designed and set in Gill Sans Bold & Rialto, and printed with a single photopolymer plate
  • Printed via letterpress in 4 hand-rolled colors, plus brown (for the Fall series) or green (for the Spring series), on a Vandercook Universal III
  • Limited edition of 85 prints (each series)
  • Size 15" x 22" on acid-free Crane Lettra Fluorescent White, 110lb,
Using a cooler color palette, the Spring speakers series poster is produced the same way.

Using a cooler color palette, the Spring speakers series poster is produced the same way.